The winners, runners-up and special mentions of the 2016 RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year Awards have recently been announced, and the competition has seen some truly stunning entries from children and young people from across the UK.

With categories for under-12s, 12-15 years, 16-18 years, pet personalities, farm animals and portfolios, there were plenty of amazing images for the judges to choose from. The judges were stunned with the quality of some of the photos that were sent in. Many could have been taken by professional photographers.

Let’s take a look at the winning entries in the six categories, as well as some of the best entries that were sent in by the children. What a talented bunch!

The winner of the Portfolio category was Mairi Eyres, whose stunning black and white wildlife images impressed the judges. This photograph of a pied flycatcher was particularly praised. “I really liked the linear shapes of these hazel trees,” Mairi says, “and the way this pied flycatcher was nestled between them.”

The winner of the Pet Personalities category was a photograph of Shadow the cat, taken by his owner, Peter Walker. “I woke up one morning and it was foggy outside,” says Peter. “Shadow wanted some attention so I would feed him, so he jumped up on my windowsill where he was perfectly silhouetted against the foggy background. I knew it would make a great photograph, so I got my camera to take a picture of the moment.”

Another entry by Mairi Eyres in the Portfolio category was this stunning image of a jackdaw on the wing. “I was trying to frame this perched jackdaw among the branches of a tree when it suddenly took off,” Mairi said. “At first I was frustrated that it was gone, but then I realized that this take-off shot was even better than what I had in mind.” Sometimes the best shots come from happy accidents.